Whole Shabang Sauce Recipe 

There is something deeply satisfying about cracking open shellfish soaking in a mind-numbingly flavorful sauce, and The Boiling Crab has this act of gustatory joy down to a science. 

When you enter Boiling Crab your senses are immediately pelted with the garlicky, spicy goodness of their Rajun Cajun, Lemon Pepper, and Garlic sauces. Still, the show-stopping winner is undoubtedly the Whole Shabang

A mixture of garlic, a myriad of spices, and a generous amount of butter, the Whole Shabang sauce will take any seafood boil from good to great and it’s incredibly easy to make at home! 

How to make Whole Shabang sauce 

Whether you’re hosting a shrimp boil or cooking for one, Whole Shabang Boiling Crab-style dinners are a thing of glory. Throw in some potatoes and corn and you don’t even need to make a side dish! 

The Whole Shabang comes together in about 15 minutes and uses a combination of layering and spice blooming to amplify their flavors to the fullest. 

The base of the sauce is butter (a copious amount) which gives the spices and chopped garlic something to grip onto and will soak into the shellfish shells and season the meat, making them impossibly delicious. 

The two heavy-hitting spice blends in this sauce are Old Bay and Cajun seasoning, both of which can be found at your local grocer. Old Bay is particularly important for the flavor profile, so try to use a fresh can. 

The Louisiana Hot Sauce in this recipe adds a layer of complexity and punch of heat that isn’t overwhelming and can be found in most hot sauce aisles.

You’ll melt the butter in two batches, once for the garlic, and once for the spices, but at no point should the butter or garlic start to brown. The goal is gentle bubbling and long flavor extraction. 

When the sauce is finished, add it to your prepared, preferably shell-on, a crustacean of choice and steep for at least 5 minutes before digging in. If using pre-peeled shellfish, only steep for a few minutes to prevent toughness. 

Ingredients:

(4-6 servings)

  • 2 cups Unsalted Butter (4 sticks)
  • 30 cloves Fresh Garlic, preferably large, peeled and minced 
  • 3 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning 
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Paprika
  • 2 tsp Hot Paprika 
  • 2 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning 
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder 
  • 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (use more or less depending on preferred spice levels)
  • 3 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice 
  • ¼ cup water 

Instructions:

Step 1:

Set a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and gently melt two sticks of butter, take extra care not to brown or burn. 

Once the butter is bubbling slightly, add in all of the garlic and saute until fragrant and slightly soft but not brown, about 2 minutes. 

Step 2:

In the same saucepan, add the remaining 2 sticks of butter and gently melt. 

Once melted, add in Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, sweet paprika, hot paprika, lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper, and stir. 

The spices will sputter and bubble and the butter will change color and become frothy. 

Once the spices are fragrant (about 2-3 minutes), add in the sugar, hot sauce, lemon juice, and water. Stir to incorporate. 

Step 3:

Turn the heat to low and allow the butter and spice mixture to gently simmer for 10 minutes so the flavors meld. Stir occasionally and take extra care not to burn

Step 4:

Once the sauce is done simmering, pour it into a large mixing bowl or seafood bag. Add in prepared shellfish of choice and stir, coating generously

Allow the shellfish to marinate in the sauce for at least 5 and up to 15 minutes (only marinate for longer if they’re shell-on). 

Optionally, add in prepared potatoes.

Serve and enjoy! 

Ingredients substitutions 

There are so many flavors in the Whole Shabang sauce that the door is wide open for substitutions. So long as you keep the butter, garlic, and Old Bay as the backbone, it’s virtually impossible to ruin!

1. Onion Powder 

The dual impact of fresh and powdered garlic is definitely detectable in the Whole Shabang, and if you find the garlic powder too overwhelming you can easily swap it out for onion powder

Onion powder will add a similar allium quality without altering the flavor profile of the sauce. Try to avoid dried onion flakes for texture reasons. 

2. Crystal Hot Sauce 

If you can’t find Louisiana Hot Sauce or simply want to broaden your hot sauce collection, Crystal hot sauce is a spectacular swap. 

Crystal is also a Louisiana-style hot sauce and is found on nearly every shelf in the homes of Cajun and Creole cooks. It works wonderfully in the recipe and is generally a good hot sauce to have on hand. 

3. Tabasco 

If Louisiana hot sauce isn’t your thing, or you’re simply a hot sauce purist, Tabasco can easily be used as the hot sauce in this recipe. 

Tabasco is more vinegar-forward than other hot sauces, so to prevent the sauce from becoming too acidic, cut the lemon juice by half, adding more as needed. 

4. Lime Juice 

There are two occurrences of lemon in this recipe, and that is fine by us! But if you want to break up the lemon without stripping the sauce of its citrus essence, lime juice is a great swap. 

What to serve with Whole Shabang sauce

The Whole Shabang was created with shellfish in mind, but it certainly isn’t limited to the consumption of shelled sea-dwelling creatures! 

Here are some of our favorite ways to use Whole Shabange sauce

Shrimp 

The workhorse of the shellfish world, shrimp and Whole Shabang were made for each other. The Boiling Crab prepares their shrimp whole to preserve its flavors and juices.

We definitely recommend preparing the shrimp in the shell before mixing it with the Whole Shabang to achieve the fullest expression of flavor. Just make sure to devein the shrimp before boiling. 

Crawfish 

From grits to etouffee to jambalaya, there isn’t a Cajun or Creole dish that doesn’t go well with crawfish and the Whole Shabang is no exception. 

As you’ll notice on The Boiling Crab menu, crawfish is seasonal, but it freezes extremely well. If you’re unable to source shell on crawfish, make sure not to over-marinate the shelled tails in the sauce. 

The acid from the citrus and hot sauce will “cook” the meat if left too long and make it tough and rubbery. Marinate for 5 minutes maximum or use the Whole Shabang as a dipping sauce.  

Steak 

Even though this sauce was invented for shellfish, there is absolutely zero reasons it can’t be eaten with steak

The butter in the sauce will resolidify after it has cooled, and makes a great finishing touch to a pan-seared steak. Just throw a spoonful into the pan a few minutes before the steak is finished and butter baste. 

It can also be melted and drizzled over the steak or used as a steak butter after being brought to room temperature. However you decide to use it, it will be delicious!  

How to reheat Whole Shabang sauce

If you find yourself with an excess amount of Whole Shabang and want to use it again, it is super easy to do! Just make sure to use gentle heat to prevent scalding. 

How to reheat Whole Shabang sauce on the stove 

The preferred method for reheating any butter-based sauce is on the stovetop. Simply place the amount you’d like to heat in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat

Gently heat the butter, stirring occasionally until it has melted. Once the spices and garlic become fragrant and the butter starts to bubble slightly, it’s ready. 

How to reheat Whole Shabang sauce in the Microwave 

To reheat in the microwave, place in a microwave-safe container and cover with a damp paper towel. Reheat on high and stir every 30 seconds until the butter is melted. About 2 minutes.

How to store Whole Shabang sauce

Since the primary component of the Whole Shabang is butter, there are a few ways to safely store it, however, the addition of fresh juice and garlic does make it perishable after a few days.

If the sauce has been mixed with seafood and you want to reserve the excess, make sure all of the seafood has been removed before storing.  

Store in the Fridge 

Remove any remaining seafood, and if it’s still warm allow it to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Store in the Freezer 

Remove any seafood and let the remaining sauce cool completely on the counter. Once the butter has resolidified and is spreadable, scoop it onto a sheet of parchment paper, forming a mound in the center. 

Gently fold one side of the parchment paper over the butter mound, and using the vertical side as leverage, roll the mound into a cylinder, forming a log. 

Once a log has formed, roll it up with the remaining parchment and twist the ends on either side to seal. Wrap the parchment in plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. Do not refreeze. 

whole shabang recipe

Whole Shabang Sauce Recipe 

The Boiling Crab is a hot spot for seafood lovers across the United States and The Whole Sha-Bang!® sauce for seafood boils is the main attraction. Luckily, it’s easy to make at home and can be used on more than just seafood! 
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Condiment, Dip, Sauce
Cuisine American, Cajun, Creole
Servings 6 people
Calories 300 kcal
Equipment
  • saucepan
  • citrus squeezer
  • mixing bowl
Ingredients
  
  • 2 cups Unsalted Butter (4 sticks)
  • 30 cloves Fresh Garlic preferably large, peeled and minced 
  • 3 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Paprika
  • 2 tsp Hot Paprika 
  • 2 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning 
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder 
  • 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (use more or less depending on preferred spice levels)
  • 3 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice
  • ¼ cup Water
Instructions
 
  • Set a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and gently melt two sticks of butter, take extra care not to brown or burn. 
    Once the butter is bubbling slightly, add in all of the garlic and saute until fragrant and slightly soft but not brown, about 2 minutes.
  • In the same saucepan, add the remaining 2 sticks of butter and gently melt. 
    Once melted, add in Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, sweet paprika, hot paprika, lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper, and stir. 
    The spices will sputter and bubble and the butter will change color and become frothy. 
    Once the spices are fragrant (about 2-3 minutes), add in the sugar, hot sauce, lemon juice, and water. Stir to incorporate. 
  • Turn the heat to low and allow the butter and spice mixture to gently simmer for 10 minutes so the flavors meld. Stir occasionally and take extra care not to burn
  • Once the sauce is done simmering, pour it into a large mixing bowl or seafood bag. Add in prepared shellfish of choice and stir, coating generously
    Allow the shellfish to marinate in the sauce for at least 5 and up to 15 minutes (only marinate for longer if they’re shell-on). 
    Optionally, add in prepared potatoes.
    Serve and enjoy! 
Nutrition
Calories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 1420mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3g
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